This article is an overview on how the energy healing technique, Reiki, can reduce or even remove feelings of stress and anxiety for people and their pets during a global crisis not seen before in our lifetime.
Stress and Anxiety
There is plenty of research on the damage that stress and anxiety have on our body, mind and spirit. Physical symptoms can include:
With depression, anger, poor concentration, obsessive compulsive behaviour and other issues resulting from emotional symptoms.
Did you know that when our pets are stressed the impacts on them are much the same as on their human counterparts? They too experience much the same physical and emotional issues.
Furthermore, it is believed that domestic animals mirror our emotions, so when we are stressed, it is likely that our pets are stressed too.
The Impacts of COVID
In 2019, the whole world became stressed to varying degrees with the onset of COVID-19. In Australia, we were locked in, borders were closed, holidays cancelled, some lost jobs, while others were forced to work from home, children were home-schooled, we wore masks and ceased socialising.
One positive and joyous outcome was that animal shelters were rapidly emptying. Stuck at home, we needed a canine companion... and an excuse to leave the house with a devoted dog on the end of the lead.
Everyone was pleased when social distancing laws started to relax, children returned to school and adults returned to work (as a Victorian resident writing this, we are in lockdown, once again, but have enjoyed many freedoms in recent months that were forbidden to us 12 months ago.).
A troubling outcome of greater freedoms for our animal friends is the heartbreaking sight of once empty shelters filling up again. Being out in the big world, or left at home alone, can take a heavy toll on animal health. Some pets are anxious, aggressive, frightened, or destructive.
Many of these animals were not socialised (or not socialised enough), partly because of the difficulty in socialising at the time, but also because new pet owners may not have understood the socialisation and exercise needs of their pet, as part of general animal wellness, particularly for some rescued pets.
All of a sudden, some pets are home alone for many hours a day and they are feeling the effects of social isolation which may well result in a slew of behavioural issues.
There are a range of solutions for people suffering anxiety. The Better Health Channel mentions mindfulness, relaxation techniques, correct breathing techniques, dietary adjustments, exercise, learning to be assertive, building self-esteem, cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, structured problem solving, medication and support groups.
Reiki as a Solution for People and Pets
Most common solutions for stressed animals are training and medication. However, there is another solution that works equally for animals and humans either as a standalone treatment or as a complementary treatment to other solutions. That strategy is Reiki.
Reiki is an increasingly popular Japanese healing technique that promotes emotional, mental and physical healing. It helps to reduce stress, relieve chronic pains and support relaxation. It is universal life energy that treats the whole being (person or pet), including body, emotions, mind, and spirit. Its many benefits include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing.
The fundamental belief of Reiki is that when our energy is low, we can feel poorly and overwhelmed by life. When our energy is high, we feel more positive, well and serene.
Because we can treat both pet owners and their animal companions with Reiki, the result is twofold. The treatment works, the person feels much better, the pet mirrors their emotions and also feels much better and the treatment also works for the animal. It’s a loving and positive cycle.
During a Reiki healing session, energy is channelled through the Reiki practitioner‘s hands, which are placed on or above the energy centres (Chakras) of the animal clients, moving blocked energy and filling us with beautiful, life affirming, healing energy. Reiki can be done in person, but pet owners may also avail of distant animal Reiki using online communication tools such as ZOOM. Both approaches are similarly effective.
Australian Reiki Connection has a list of Reiki practitioners who are registered with them, which means that they have insurance and have done the appropriate training.